Ukrainian American Veterans Post 17 members and guests at the post’s Christmas celebration.

UAV Post 17 members gather for Christmas celebration


WHIPPANY, N. J. – Ukrainian American Veterans Post 17 celebrated Christmas at the Ukrainian American Cultural Center of New Jersey in Whippany on December 18. The festivities were organized and presided over by Post Commander Walter Kovbasniuk, who recognized several prominent guests, among them Dr. Olexander Ilchyk, who is starting a two-year residency in the United States studying battlefield medicine to provide care to Ukrainian army casualties conducting anti-terrorist operations (ATO) in eastern Ukraine,. Mr. Kovbasniuk presented a commemorative Ukrainian American Veterans coin to Roma Hadzewycz, editor-in-chief of The Ukrainian Weekly and Svoboda, for her continuing support of the organization’s efforts. The Ukrainian American Veterans (UAV) organization was represented by, among others, Michael Hrycak and Andrew Hadzewycz, commander and vice-commander, respectively, of the UAV New Jersey Department, as well as Ihor Rudko, commander of the UAV Connecticut Department and Post Commander Walter Kovbasniuk, Post 17 (Whippany). Mr. Hrycak shared some memories of a Christmas he shared with fellow soldiers in Iraq 10 years ago, which included a fellow United States Military Academy classmate (class of 1981) of Mark “Franko” Paslawsky (who was killed in action during the battle of Ilovaysk on August 19, 2014, as member of the Donbas Battalion), emphasizing that all veterans are lucky to be with their families this Christmas.


Hillside parishioners bring gift of Ukrainian and English carols

HILLSIDE, N.J. – On Wednesday, December 28, 2016, children and parishioners of Immaculate Conception Ukrainian Catholic Church in Hillside, N.J., caroled in Ukrainian and English for the retired Sisters of Mercy and clergy of McAuley Hall Center at Mount St. Mary Academy in Watchung, N.J.  The children distributed home-baked cookies and religious calendars to the attendees. One of the retirees in the audience mentioned that she is Ukrainian and joined the children and parishioners in singing numerous Ukrainian carols. Afterwards, the parish caroling group traveled throughout Union, Somerset, Middlesex and Morris Counties to share the gift of koliady with parishioners at their homes. (Additional photos can be found on the parish website

Plast scouts sing the Bethlehem Peace Light song.

Bethlehem Peace Light ceremony held in Whippany, N.J.

WHIPPANY, N.J. – The Bethlehem Peace Light was shared during a ceremony at St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church in Whippany, N.J., on Saturday, December 3. In attendance were members of Plast Ukrainian Scouting Organization, including senior members who organized the ceremony, as well as Polish, Latvian and Lithuanian scouts, members of the Ukrainian American Youth Association, parishioners and school children. The light had arrived in the United States one week earlier, landing at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, where a special ceremony was held at Our Lady of the Skies Chapel. The light came from Vienna, brought there by Austrian scouts who light a lantern from the everlasting flame that burns in Bethlehem.

Young workshop participants making traditional paper doves, vertep stars and St. Nicholas ornaments.

St. Nicholas Workshop held in Somerset, N.J., at Ukrainian History and Education Center

SOMERSET, N.J. – On Sunday afternoon, December 18, 2016, St. Nicholas visited the children and families gathered at the historic Heinrich Fisher House on the grounds of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Metropolia in Somerset, N.J., for the first ever St. Nicholas Workshop sponsored by the Ukrainian History and Education Center. He was greeted with the traditional Ukrainian carol “O, Khto, Khto, Mykolaia Liubyt’” (professing children’s love of St. Nicholas).


Former pastor, now bishop, celebrates liturgy

WILMINGTON, Del. – St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church in Wilmington, Del., had the pleasure of having a former pastor, Bishop John Bura, celebrate divine liturgy on Sunday, December 4. Afterwards, the faithful had a luncheon in the church hall while the children were treated to the traditional visit by St. Nicholas.

St. Nicholas poses with Hillside, N.J., parish children and the Rev. Vasyl Vladyka, parish administrator.

St. Nicholas visits Hillside parish

HILLSIDE, N.J. – St. Nicholas visited the children and parishioners of Immaculate Conception Ukrainian Catholic Church in Hillside, N.J., on Sunday, December 4. The children honored St. Nicholas by presenting an inspiring bilingual holiday entertainment program that included Christmas music performed on the piano, clarinet, trumpet and saxophone, as well as several vocal selections of Christmas melodies. The Rev. Vasyl Vladyka, parish administrator, led the attendees in prayer and koliady.

Members of the Executive Board and Board of Directors for 2016-2019 of the United Ukrainian American Relief Committee: (seated, from left) Chrystia Charyna Senyk, Nila Pawluk, Larissa Kyj, Ph.D., Luba Siletsky, Metodij Boretsky, (standing) Natalia Siletsky Mykijewycz, Dr. Nestor Zarichny, Ulana Prociuk, Olia Kuzewycz, Dr. Irena Stolar, Alex Brozyna, Olga Jakubowsky, Vasyl Litkewycz, Marta Kokolskyj, Dr. Nataliya Doliba, Daria Laszyn, Borys Pawluk and Marta Jarymovych.

United Ukrainian American Relief Committee holds general meeting

PHILADELPHIA – The 23rd general meeting of the United Ukrainian American Relief Committee (UUARC) took place on November 5 at the organization’s office in Philadelphia. UUARC President Dr. Larissa Kyj delivered an extensive PowerPoint report, documenting the various UUARC programs that were supported by the Ukrainian American community over the last three years. She highlighted the following permanent UUARC programs: children’s programs that include the visit of St. Nicholas and Christmas trips for children from the “gray zone” in Ukraine to the Carpathian Mountains; an Easter Basket program; summer camps; and the program “Going from Childhood to Taras,” which has been in existence for years thanks to the financial support of the Hulai Lion Foundation; the new “Family-to-Family” program established in 2015 for children whose parents were killed or wounded in the war in eastern Ukraine; programs for the elderly that include soup kitchens in Lviv, Mykolayiv, Ponornytsia and Nova Odesa; and the “Adopt-a-Grandparent” program, through which individual sponsors aid isolated and destitute elderly persons. The president’s report included the aid that was provided during and after the Revolution of Dignity, as well as assistance to the armed forces of Ukraine.

At the Veterans Day service led by Metropolitan Antony at the Ukrainian American Veterans’ Monument at St. Andrew’s Ukrainian Orthodox Cemetery in South Bound Brook, N.J.

Ukrainian American Veterans in N.J. attend service in South Bound Brook

SOUTH BOUND BROOK, N. J. – Veterans Day was celebrated at the Ukrainian American Veterans National Monument, which stands here in front of St. Andrew Ukrainian Orthodox Memorial Church, with a service conducted by Metropolitan Antony of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the U.S.A., with the assistance of clergy and seminarians from St. Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Theological Seminary. Metropolitan Antony explained that Veterans Day was first celebrated on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in recognition of Armistice Day, November 11, 1918, marking the end of World War I. Later, during President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s administration in 1954, the holiday was changed to Veterans Day in tribute to all veterans who have served during war and peace. The metropolitan had explained the unique placement of the UAV National Monument a year earlier, during its dedication on October 3, 2015, noting that, unlike all other monuments at St.